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Chicago took control with a 16-3 run in the second quarter and led the rest of the way, fending off the last of Atlanta’s runs when Jimmy Butler swished a 3-pointer with just over a minute remaining.
The Hawks lost for the 21st time in 28 games, this one dropping them slightly behind New York for the eighth playoff seed. The Knicks (33-43) routed Brooklyn 110-81 to climb percentage points ahead of Atlanta (32-42). Cleveland is also in the mix after beating Orlando.
Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 22 points.
KNICKS 110, NETS 81
NEW YORK • J.R. Smith had 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists, Carmelo Anthony added 23 points and 10 rebounds, and New York beat city rival Brooklyn to move percentage points ahead of Atlanta for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 17 points a game after spraining his right ankle to help the Knicks win for the 12th time in 15 games, dominating a team that had the best record in the Eastern Conference since the new year. New York won its third straight.
The Knicks made 24 of 36 shots in taking a 63-38 halftime time in front of new president Phil Jackson, finishing at a season-high 60 percent and outrebounding Brooklyn 41-23.
Joe Johnson scored 16 points for the Nets, who had won three straight.
RAPTORS 107, ROCKETS 103
TORONTO • DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points, Jonas Valanciunas and Greivis Vasquez each had 15, and Toronto won its seventh straight home meeting with Houston.
Terrence Ross scored 14 points and John Salmons had 12 as the short-handed Raptors won for the fourth time in five games.
James Harden scored 26 points and Chandler Parsons had 20 for the Rockets, who lost their third straight after winning the previous five.
The Rockets hurt themselves by missing eight of 30 free throw attempts, including five misses in the fourth quarter.
Jeremy Lin scored 16 points and Donatas Motiejunas had 13 for the Rockets, who could have clinched a playoff spot with a win and a loss by either Memphis or Phoenix.
HEAT 96, BUCKS 77
MIAMI • LeBron James scored 17 points, Chris Bosh added 15 and Miami stayed atop the Eastern Conference with a win over Milwaukee.
Mario Chalmers added 14 for the Heat, who never trailed despite again being without Greg Oden, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen. The win kept Miami percentage points (52-22) ahead of Indiana (53-23) in the East.
Ramon Sessions scored 19 points for Milwaukee, which got 14 from Jeff Adrien, 11 from Brandon Knight and 10 from John Henson. Zaza Pachulia grabbed 16 rebounds in 26 minutes for the NBA-worst Bucks, who have now had 11 games this season in which they never led.Next Page >
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